For a very long time growing up, I was not a fan of black metal until the first time I saw Norwegian Black Metal group Dimmu Borgir on Ozzfest 2004. I was completely mesmerized by everything that the band was doing that day and it was awesome. They were in my opinion different than anything I had ever heard before. The band which in 2010 was made up of Shagrath (Vocals, Keyboards, Programming), Galder (Guitars), Silenoz (Guitars), Daray (Drums), Snowy Shaw (Bass), and special on the album Abrahadabra (which we are covering for today’s album of the week) was the Kringkastingsorkesteret (Norwegian Radio Orchestra) and the Schola Cantorum Choir. The album was produced by Dimmu Borgir and mixed by Andy Sneap as it was released on September 22, 2010 via Nuclear Blast Records. The title Abrahadabra translates into “I will create as I speak” and it’s taken from Aleister Crowley’s Liber AL vel Legis (The Book Of The Law) while the album cover was derived from H.P. Lovecraft’s Elder Gods. The album did pretty well as if peaked at number 42 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts as well as a couple of top 10 finishes in various countries.
1. Xibir-This is an instrumental track that kicks off the album in style. If you’re not used to it, it might creep you out with it’s eerie dark tones, but it’s amazing. 5/5
2. Born Treacherous– The metal takes over with this track as the band launches an all out symphonic metal assault complete with blast beats and razor fast shredding. The song just seems to be about someone who defies conventional laws. 4/5
3. Gateways-The first single released from the album and an interesting one to say the least. It’s all about being free from the conventional thinking that society has you trapped in. The track also features guest vocals from Agnete Kjølsrud and Garm. 5/5
4. Chess with the Abyss– The beginning of the track almost seems opera like with the choir like vocals that come in on this song. The track seems to be about fighting that feeling of being trapped in a world that seems like a nightmare. 4/5
5. Dimmu Borgir-Every great band in the history of metal has a song that is titled after the band’s name. The beginning has the chanting again, but it’s cool cause I feel like I’m in a temple. The song is a full on metal assault with the Schola Cantorum Choir earning their money. I love the guitar parts in this track, some of my favorite work on here. 5/5
6. Ritualist-Very eerie beginning with some backward messaging to start the track off before the all out symphonic metal assault takes over in a track that seems to be preaching about truly being free and reborn. 4/5
7. The Demiurge Molecule– A very metal track that is different for the most part than most of the other songs before. The horns in this track are a nice touch. 4/5
8. A Jewel Traced Through Coal-The intro has a very cinematic feel to it hen it opens before the amazing orchestral section and the band take over. The track does get a little over the top during the middle section with the orchestral arrangements. Overall a decent track. 4/5
9. Renewal-It’s an all out metal assault on this track with some of the most amazing guitar work on the album in general. The track seems to be about someone who understands his path and is renewed by it because he knows who he is. 4/5
10. Endings and Continuations– The last track on the album that has hints of the old days of Dimmu Borgir and mixes it nicely with the new era of the band to make this track. Its definitely the way to close out an album for sure. 4.5/5
My Final Thoughts– I know that this album has taken a lot of criticism over the years because I looked it up online and maybe they are justified in thinking so. Is it the band’s strongest effort? Maybe not, but I became a fan of the band very late in the game when they became the new Dimmu Borgir like many have said. I for one enjoyed the record which is why I am giving it 4.35 stars out of five for a final grade.